For those not in the know, the DC Comics Animated Universe ("DCAU" for short) has been running continuously since the early 90s. First there was Batman: The Animated Series, then Batman: Gotham Knights, then there was Superman: The Animated Series, then Batman: Beyond, then Static Shock, then Justice League, and then Teen Titans, and then Justice League: Unlimited. Though there were some klinkers here and there, the "Shared Universe" that all these overlapping shows took place in was generally a great example of American Animation and American Storytelling. The last shows - Teen Titans and "JL:U" - ended their runs just a couple months ago on an extreme high note, and this film is the first DCAU story to be told since then. As such I, and ever other animation geek out there had high hopes for it.
Alas, the film is a massive disappointment for all concerned. Several of the voices of prominent characters that we've grown very accustomed to over the last ten years or so have been re-cast for no reason whatsoever, and the new voices are really distracting. The plot is just typical "Indestructable man vs. Unstopable machine" stuff that we've all seen so many times before, the dialog is largely cringe-inducingly awful and, most bizarre of all, though this movie looks just like Superman: The Animated Series, it completely ignores a decade's worth of continuity that's been established since that show ended. For example: JL:U ended with Lex on the run from the law after a failed bid at the presidency, and he and Darkseid apparently either dying or at the very least leaving the earth. Brainiac Attacks begins with Lex inexplicably once again a respected business man, no mention of Darkseid, and no mention of Luthor's previous extremely close relationship with Brainiac. There is, however, nothing in this film that indicates it's a prequel, or shoehorned in between the end of Superman:TAS and the two Justice League series.
In short, the movie makes a mess of the DCAU, stomping all around without wiping it's feet first, and it doesn't really give us a story worthy of the annoyance it brings us. It's just junk. They had the opportunity here to do a great coda to 15 years of great shows (Warners has tacitly announced that the DCAU is done for the foreseeable future), a great final chapter, and they blew it. They had a chance to tell a really good story, and they blew it, and, what's more, they didn't care.
Fans will find out about this movie, expecting it to be like a farewell kiss on the lips from someone you loved who's moving away forever, but in the end it's more like an unexpected punch in the mouth. Avoid! This is not a movie for enjoying, this is a movie for laying down and avoiding!
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